Riders and officials debate decision to close NYC subways during storm

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After being closed for what ended up to be 10 hours and playing catch up on Tuesday, public transit in New York City returned to its regular weekday schedule on Wednesday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast answered questions this week about the decision to close the subways as part of a Monday evening's travel ban.

They explained that they met and made conference calls Monday afternoon. State leaders gathered to make a decision around 4:30 p.m. based on information from the National Weather Service. Calls were made to staff from the New York City Mayor's Office. They say their decision was based on the forecast for wind and accumulation.

Benjamin Kabek, who writes the popular transit blog called Second Avenue Sagas, believes this sets a precedent. He spoke with PIX11 News Reporter Greg Mocker.

"With service properly curtailed in the right spots, the New York City subways could and should have operated as originally planned," he said.

After the storm, Governor Cuomo was not second guessing the decision to shut down the transit system.

The MTA Chairman explained why empty trains were running even though the system was shut down. Chairman Prendergast explained trains are used to clear ice and snow from the tracks.

That includes when they are empty.

Some riders complained about being stranded and not being able to get connecting trains.

The Governor and MTA Chairman warned people not to wait to the last minute. The order was order was issued 6 hours before it took effect.

Responses to future storms will take into consideration forecasts. Governor Cuomo said they did consider keeping the trains running, but the closure of the entire system would allow the trains to come back on line faster once the storm passed.

The state and city are reviewing the responses to the storm.